British gambling lobbying group, the Betting and Gaming Council warned that it believes that the UK government is seriously considering increasing gambling taxes in the country to generate additional tax revenue in the country.
The BGC made the announcement ahead of the UK's budget announcement on March 15th and an upcoming white paper on gambling in the country itself. As expected, the BGC said that increases in taxes would threaten industry growth and puts jobs in jeopardy, while also claiming that the "customer experience" could be harmed.
The group said that gambling in the UK employs 110,000 people, contributes £1.7 billion to the economy, and pays taxes of €4.2 billion annually. They also said that increasing taxes could cause punters to head to offshore sites, which pay no taxes to the UK and offer no protections for British gamblers.
In a statement, BGC CEO Michael Dugher said, "The regulated industry already plays a huge role in the UK economy, and we are keen to go further and contribute even more. But in order to deliver on this ambition, we need a pro-business budget, no new tax rises and a balanced gambling white paper that protects the vulnerable while not spoiling the customer experience of the majority who bet perfectly safely.
"Our industry includes world-leading British tech, as well as businesses supporting high street retail, plus those in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors. Ministers should be protecting investment and jobs at this challenging time. We want to see big changes that will further strengthen safer gambling, but new taxes and draconian regulations will put businesses at risk.
"We need to see long overdue changes to help land-based casinos in particular with their recovery. And we need to stop intrusive, blanket low-level 'affordability checks', such as those called for by the anti-gambling lobby, which only serves to drive customers to the unsafe, unregulated black market online where there are none of the safer gambling protections that exist in the regulated industry and where not a penny is paid in tax to the Exchequer."
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